New ownership group, led by baseball hall of famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Riverais now one of the only minority-owned professional sports leagues in the world
NEW YORK and DUBAIUAE, Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The United International Baseball League (UIBL), a professional baseball league created to serve the Middle East and South Asiaannounced today its name change to Baseball United. The new name comes in conjunction with incremental funding from a new round of owners and investors, and builds upon the league’s rapid traction amongst Baseball Federations across more than 50 countries worldwide.
The name change – created under a new U.S.-based corporation, Baseball United, Inc. – also fortifies the league’s international assets and trademarks, while protecting against recent breaches of company IP in India. In addition to its professional baseball league, the Baseball United ecosystem will encompass youth academies, clothing and merchandise, international content and media, and global non-profit outreach. With its new structure, Baseball United becomes only the second minority-owned professional sports league in American history.
The new company’s ownership group includes baseball hall of famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Riveraas well as award-winning executive and entrepreneur, Kash Shaikhand former NYPD Commander of International Intelligence, John Miedreich. Shaikh will serve as Baseball United’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.
Shaikh has spent the past two decades in leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, GoPro, and his own companies, including sports marketing firm BSB Sports and growth consultancy BSB Group International. Shaikh’s sports industry experience includes work with teams, athletes and brands across some of the world’s largest professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, UFC, and the Olympics.
“Today is a big day for our team, and for baseball fans across the world,” said Shaikh. “Baseball United powerfully brings to life our mission to inspire two billion new fans to fall in love with the game of baseball, and broadens our platform for international development, partnership, and growth. We’re grateful for the strong support we’ve received across the world, and we are looking forward to continuing to build the right way with the right people.”
Larkin and Rivera, two of baseball’s most decorated stars with a combined six World Series Championships and 25 All-Star Game selections, will also serve on Baseball United’s new Board of Directors. Larkin, who spent 19 years with the Cincinnati Reds, has spent the bulk of his post-playing career leading international baseball development in South America and Asiaincluding serving as the manager for the Brazilian national team from 2013 to 2017.
Rivera also spent 19 years with one franchise, pitching his entire career with the New York Yankees. The only player ever unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame, Rivera has also built baseball development programs and academies in his home country of Panama.
“It’s a blessing to be able to continue to grow the beautiful game of baseball,” said Rivera. “The new company structure, along with our new name of Baseball United, positions us for growth in countries that are often overlooked when it comes to baseball. And, even more importantly, we now have the right leadership in place to help us succeed. I’m excited to work alongside Kash, Barry and our entire Baseball United team to make that happen.”
The company also unveiled a new logo and brand mark that will be used in its worldwide operations. With the change in ownership, the inaugural Baseball United Showcase featuring the league’s first four franchises will now take place in DubaiUAE in the fall of 2023.
“Our new league will not only bring more opportunity to hundreds of professional baseball players from around the world, but it will be a benchmark for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Larkin. “Our grassroots academies and development programs will give access to young kids in underserved countries who haven’t had the opportunity to learn the game and absorb the benefits of team sports. That top-down and bottom-up approach is a critical part of our strategy, and I believe it will be a key driver of our success.”
To learn more about Baseball United, visit baseballunited.com.
About the Baseball United
Baseball United is the first-ever professional baseball league created to serve the Middle East and South Asia. Our mission is to inspire two billion new fans to fall in love with baseball. The Baseball United ecosystem includes youth development, federation partnerships, media and content, and non-profit outreach. With over 30 nationalities represented on our team rosters and a new suite of game changes, Baseball United is working to showcase a new future for baseball.
SOURCE Baseball United, Inc.